Cooking Utensils and Tools

OK – This is expensive, but it’s one of the mosts used items in my kitchen.  It’s the best instant read thermometer there is.  I use it mostly for internal temps of meats, but I use it to check oil temps when I’m frying, fridge temps when I am monitoring, outdoor temps when I’m curious, and anything else in about two seconds.  Save up and splurge.  It’s worth it.

I love my All-Clad pots and my All-Clad Roaster.  They heat well, they clean well, they look absolutely beautiful, and I don’t need any more than that.  And the turkey roaster serves as a beautiful roaster and dish for crowds  I have the skillets as well, but I don’t even use them.  I don’t know why, but they do not clean as well.  And I love my cast iron skillet so much that I have no need for the skillets.

If you are in the market for a non-installed gas grill, in my mind, there’s only one choice: The Weber Genesis. The Summit and the Spirit are also fantastic, but the Genesis is right in the middle and does the job perfectly. It just works. It’s reliable and when parts wear out, they are readily available. I’m not a fan of the extra burner. You don’t need that, and it’s just less space to place stuff.
I did add a built-in grill a few years ago when I upgraded our back yard kitchen area. My brother Pat is highly successful artist who was trained as an architect. He helped design the area and my friend Tim Biglow built it. It has a 5 foot fire pit, seating for 10-12, lots of eating/prep/cooking area, a sink, trash, drawer and cabinets, a nest for my Big Green Egg and a built in Blaze 34″ Professional Natural Gas Grill.
I love everything we did for this area, and it’s provided many nice nights for us. The Blaze Grill is not the highest end grill like a Fire Magic or Viking, but it’s been a fantastic mid-range grill.

It’s my favorite cooking device ever. Where do I start. I’ve been smoking meat for about 15 years. I had an offset smoker – kind of a barrel looking thing with a small firebox to the left, for 10 years. It worked well, but it was a lot of work! It was a $250 dollar smoker, so the metal was not too thick. That means it did not keep the heat in as well as more expensive devices. And that meant that yours truly had to check the temperature every 30-60 minutes, adjust the vents, or add fuel. Too much work!

The Big Green Egg changed all of that. With my BGE, it takes about 30-45 minutes to get the temperature exactly right, and then it’s a rock. It will just stay there. And stay there. And stay there a little longer. The natural hard lump charcoal can burn for up to 12 hours. The charcoal that you don’t use, you get to use next time.

If you don’t have a waffle maker, or yours is a little tired, this $40 baby is the way to go. I looked at many options before choosing this one, and I’m thrilled. It’s clean, super easy to use, and it makes great waffles. No need to spend over $100. Highly recommended.

My Appliances

We have had it since 2013 and only had one repair so far. I love the brand and I hope they continue to be made.

We bought it in 2014 and have never had a problem. It works better with pods than with liquid or powdered soap. We don’t ask it to do heavy scrubbing, just don’t leave water stains.

Bosch is the 2nd brand for Thermador. We bought this back in 2018, so I still consider it new. It keeps the temperature way better on convection than not, and I need to use oven thermometers to make sure the temp is right. See my earlier comments about electronics. I love the proofing mode and the warming mode. Low temps are great options to have in an oven.

This thing will last forever. It only has two electronic items – the ignitions on each burner (self-starting – they work most of the time), and the extra low burner, which turn itself on and off, and just annoys the heck out of everyone. That being said, we’ve had it since 2002, I love it, and I hope I never own a different stove.